The Sexsmith Fire Department was out to warn residents about the dangers of unsafe winter fires following an incident in the town on Monday. The department says it was notified about smoke coming from the green space between the Willow Estates Pond and 100 Avenue in Sexsmith.
When firefighters arrived, they found what they describe as an unattended smoldering fire, with some personal items and garbage in the area. It’s reported the firepit looked like it had been used several times, with the flames having burned down right to the forest floor.
Any fires in the town require a permit, including backyard ones. The department explains it may seem safe to have a fire in the winter, but putting fires out improperly can cause long lasting damage later in the year.
“Even though the fire may be smothered at the surface, it can and will seek more oxygen by burning deeper and deeper into the peat layer. This can potentially smolder for months, then come back to the surface on a dry and windy spring day, spreading in the area.”
According to an update on the fire department’s Facebook page, someone has come forward to take responsibility for the fire pit.